How soon can you migrate your Fox Pro application?

How soon can you migrate your Fox Pro application?

By Joe Rafanelli | May 13th, 2020 |

As a Technical Account Manager, dealing with a variety of different migration questions or concerns are my specialty.  Typically, the first question I get is, “how much is this migration going to cost”.  This is a great question and is important, but it’s not as big as the timing piece of the migration concern.  We live in a “have it now” world that often skews the reality of a multi release and phased projects such as FoxPro migrations.   Depending on the number of Lines of Code, Forms, PRG’s, Classes, Reports and DBF’s an application migration can take a considerable amount of time. This factored with how the legacy code is written, can add up to a considerable amount of time.  Although there is no “easy button” to an application transformation, there are proprietary tools to help minimize the duration. 

Consider the following time saving utilities:    

1. Code Matrix – This tool analyzes the VFP application’s project file and its folders to provide an automated count of the inventory (i.e. Forms/Classes/Reports and Program files).  It includes counts of Objects, Methods, Procedures, Functions, Comment lines, Database Containers and lines of code.  The automation identifies each and every module used in application and count correct number of lines and other object that are considered in migration. The tool intelligently counts only the lines of code to be considered, it counts comments and blank lines separately.  This saves the developer a lot of time by not manually tallying all folders and contents within them. Using this tool provides important size information and helps scope-out the entire transformation project.  

2. Spec Generator – This tool analyzes the VFP Forms, program files and classes to generate detail technical specification documentation. It generates a separate Word document for each module like forms and program files. Documentation form contains all DBFs being used in it, controls and their locations and events. Documentation also contains easy to understand pseudocode for VFP code. This tool allows the developer to save time by having the code displayed in a readable/workable document ready for either a migration or application re-write.  The tech specs generated include the following information:

VFP Code:

  • Detail of Tables/Cursor Structure (temporary VFP tables), Data Environment 
  • Tags Controls/Objects Specifications and Events/Method references
  • Workflow of the Programs, Forms, Classes and Reports.
  • Detailed Specifications of Code and Events / Methods
  • Forms Screens snap including Tags All controls/objects
  • Calling Methods, Validation and External Programs
  • Public and Private variable lists 

VFP Reports:

  • All Public and Parameter Variable lists
  • Groups Details / Calculated variable
  • Report structure and ant custom code.
  • SQL/Cursor Structure (temporary VFP tables)
  • All Express Variable and Inside code details

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3. Data Morph – This tool analyzes the VFP Tables and Data to transform into SQL Server. This is a big time saver by automating the Data base conversion. Without this tool, the developer would have to manually complete all of the below steps.  The tool is not limited to SQL Server only, it can migrate VFP database to MySQL, PostgreSQL and MongoDB as well.   

The Table structure Transformation includes:  

  • Analyze table structure 
  • Validate and alter data type compatibility with SQL Server.
  • Create table structure into SQL Server
  • Create primary keys  (If they don’t exist in the VFP tables)
  • Create indexes
  • Create tables Constrain as identified in the VFP definition

The Data Transformation includes: 

  • Transform all data into appropriate tables 
  • Check data Integratory (i.e. parent/child table relation).
  • Validate data record counts (VFP and SQL) 

4. Code Morph – This tool is a Code Parser that reads, analyzes, processes, executes and translates the structured code into a dot net platform.  With the use of this tool, the developer will not be required to manually translate the code and framework into dot net and C# code. The tool migrates the VFP application to Macrosoft’s Dazzle framework which comprise of all modern, standard and proved for robust performance components.  The tool ensures that no VFP code is left behind.  This utility saves an unsurmountable amount of time while increasing the accuracy.   The list of automated features is below:   

  • Analyzes the VFP Project/Forms/Classes/PRG’s/Reports
  • Creates Dot Net #, ASP.Net & Angular Framework
  • Converts VFP Project into Dot Net Solutions, respected project and folders
  • Transforms screens using new responsive using Bootstrap
  • Transforms Reports into Microsoft SQL Server SSRS Reports
  • Uses Multi-Tier Application Architecture
  • Modern Technology Stack to support cloud deployment
  • Uses Industry Standard Coding techniques
  • Reads VFP classes and PRG’s, Creates C# Business Layers and ASP.Net Validation events.   

From past experience, I can say with 100% certainty, that clients want ready to go technology.  Whether it’s a preferred framework (like Angular JS) or tools that will achieve accurate results more quickly, clients crave speedy platform modernization.  Understanding the duration is a key step to transforming a VFP application into the 21 century.   An experienced migration partner will help to ensure a seamless migration of your legacy application, keeping zero downtime without any business disruption. A migration can seem like a complicated business – but it’s one that’s made much more comfortable if the right strategy and planning is done in the initial phase. Macrosoft’s migration experts can assist you and your business in making the right choice for your business-critical legacy application

Macrosoft’s Migration Expertise

Don’t be left behind. Evolve to the application of the future. Download our migration brochure to understand the proven methodologies to safely migrate your business application for the modern world.

Joe Rafanelli
Manager, Technical Solutions at Macrosoft Inc
Joe Rafanelli is the Manager of Technical Solutions at Macrosoft. In this capacity, Joe acts as the single point of contact for Macrosoft’s migration solutions. Additionally, he collaborates with internal technology analysts to understand requirements, work scope, and maintain client relationships ensuring their satisfaction .

Prior to joining Macrosoft in May 2017, Joe had over 25 years of experience in the Banking Industry. Equally, Joe focused on Account Management, Project Management, Implementation Management, and Product Development. Moreover, Joe is excellent at improving the client experience by driving change management projects to completion. Previously, Joe held the following positions in the following institutions: JPMorgan, Citigroup and Brown Brother Harriman.

Joe has B.S. Finance, MBA Investment Finance, Project Management certificate & Database Management certificate.
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